Social Security & Coronavirus
How can I stay updated about what SSA is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Here are some answers to common questions*
Note: This is an expert from a recent post on the Social Security Administration website. You can read the full article here.
Will I continue to receive my Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income payment if I use Direct Deposit?
Yes. You will continue to receive your monthly benefit amount if you use Direct Deposit.
Will I still receive my Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income payment by mail?
Will SSA provide in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic?
NO! Please do not come into one of our local offices. We cannot accept walk-in visitors at this time.
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, we suspended face-to-face service to the public in our field offices and hearings offices nationwide until further notice. This decision protects the population we serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and our employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
How can I get help from SSA?
- Online at www.SSA.gov – You can conduct most business online without assistance
- By Phone
Our National 800 Number and field office staff will direct you to:
What can I do online?
You can conduct most business online with our secure and convenient online services available at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices. Our online services are available from anywhere and from any of your devices. You can:
- Apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits;
- Check the status of an application or appeal;
- Request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas);
- Request a replacement Medicare card (You may not need to request a card: Your healthcare provider can verify Medicare eligibility if you know your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number.);
- Print a benefit verification letter;
- Print a SSA-1099;
- Change address;
- Set up or change direct deposit; and
- Much more.
We also have a wealth of information to answer most of your Social Security questions online, without having to speak with a Social Security representative. Please visit our online Frequently Asked Questions at www.ssa.gov/ask.
How will SSA help me by phone?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focusing on providing specific critical services to people in dire need. We will accept requests for dire need benefit payments, which include:
- If you did not receive your monthly payment;
- If you are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; or
- If your benefits were suspended and can now be reinstated.
For critical payments, we will send payments by mail, or we will schedule an appointment for you to visit the office for pickup.
We will take applications for benefits and assist people already receiving benefits. We are prioritizing the critical claims first, including:
- Disability applications for the most severe disabilities including:
- If you have a terminal illness;
- If you are a Wounded Warrior;
- If you may qualify for an immediate Supplemental Security Income payment based certain severe disabilities https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-expedite-ussi.htm;
- If your disability qualifies for our Compassionate Allowance https://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/ or Quick Disability Determination https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/qdd.htm processes.
- Medicare and Medicaid applications necessary for health-care coverage.
- Representative Payee and other changes that ensure you continue to receive benefits.
- To the extent possible, we will complete all other applications for Retirement, Survivor, Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
We will take actions that could directly affect your payments including:
- Change of address;
- Change of direct deposit;
- Report of a death; and
- Representative payee changes.
Will SSA extend our deadlines to provide documentation and other information?
Yes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are extending our deadlines wherever possible.
- If we asked you to contact us by a certain date, please do not come to the office. You can contact us once our offices reopen to the public or you can mail your documents to us. We will follow up with you once the COVID-19 public health emergency subsides.
- We are providing maximum flexibility in applying our good cause policy. This policy allows us to extend the time limits for submitting appeals and taking other actions during this public health emergency.
What workloads is SSA not doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have suspended the following workloads until further notice:
- We will not start or complete any current medical continuing disability reviews. If you have a medical continuing disability review pending, please do not request medical information from your doctors at this time. We will follow up with you for any medical evidence once the COVID-19 public health emergency subsides.
- Where possible, we are suspending our processing and collection of overpayments.
- We are not conducting organization or individual representative payee accountings.
- We will not be able to process a third party requests for information, except from appointed representatives and representative payees
- We will not process any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
How can I get a new or replacement Social Security number card?
New Card Requests: We will continue to process new card requests through our automated processes for Enumeration at Birth, Enumeration at Entry, and Enumeration beyond Entry.
Replacement Card Requests: You may be able to request a replacement card online with your personal my Social Security account. Visit www.ssa.gov/ssnumber to learn how.
How can I find out if my Social Security office is open?
All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. This decision protects the population we serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and our employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, we are still able to provide critical services.
If you need to contact your local office for a dire need situation, please look for the general inquiry telephone number at Social Security Office Locator under “Show Additional Office Information” for the office you select. Please visit our Office Closings and Emergencies page for the latest information about office closings.